With more than 400 million speakers worldwide, Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, and the second in the United States, where it is spoken by upwards of 35 million people. Spanish is also one of the languages most often used in California and in the Central Valley, as well as one of the four official languages of the United Nations. Beyond its relevance in the world, Spanish should also be well represented locally, since the University of California, Merced is a Hispanic Serving Institution. The major in Spanish at UC Merced will provide students with the linguistic skills and necessary cultural background to communicate their ideas in Spanish in different professional contexts, to think critically, and to analyze literary works. In doing so, the major in Spanish will help students to face the demands of an ever more globalized society, one that requires and values linguistic and cultural competence in more than one language.
Most employers appreciate employees with knowledge of a second language, Spanish being one of the languages most demanded. In order to use a language in an efficient manner, the speaker should be familiar with the main social traits that define the native speakers of such a language, as well as with their cultural manifestations, literature and history. Knowledge of the particularities of the language associated with professions is also a relevant tool to relate to and work with native speakers.
Spanish Program Learning Outcomes
The program learning goals for the Spanish major describe the purpose of education in our degree unit and our vision for student enrichment. Faculty will strive to realize the following goals.
- Demonstrate Spanish writing and reading skills equivalent to at least the advanced-high level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines.
- Demonstrate Spanish speaking and listening skills equivalent to at least the advanced-high level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
- Explain and apply the major theoretical perspectives in literary analysis.
- Identify and apply linguistic concepts pertinent to the Spanish language when analyzing writing and oral, literary and non-literary texts.
- Articulate similarities and differences within the cultures of the Hispanic world by discerning the main topics and characteristics of different historical periods, and by analyzing literary and non-literary texts in light of their historical embedment in the Latin American, US Latino and Spanish contexts.